Democratic Sen. Omar Fateh is facing another ethics complaint, this time for making disparaging comments about his Republican colleagues and allegedly misrepresenting their views.
Fateh claimed during a February debate on a bill to provide driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants that Republicans had called the immigrant population “terrorists” and “drug dealers.”
“During the February 22, 2023 debate on HF4, members of the Senate did not call immigrants ‘terrorists’ and ‘drug dealers’ as falsely claimed by Senator Fateh. Actual senator comments expressly delineated between the immigrant population and bad actors seeking to exploit legislation under deliberation,” Sen. Jeff Howe, R-Rockville, said in the complaint.
Fateh went on to suggest that his Republican colleagues, who sit in the front rows of the Senate chamber, look like “violent extremists” who “advocate for the superiority of the white race.”
“You want to know who the real threat is, Madam President? I’ll give you a hint: they don’t look like our chief author, they don’t look like the folks up in the gallery, they don’t look like the folks out in the rotunda. They look like many of the members that sit in the front,” Fateh said during that February debate.
Sen. Omar Fateh said his Republican colleagues look like terrorists on the Senate floor. pic.twitter.com/RNFAbhg1Fy
— Alpha News (@AlphaNewsMN) February 22, 2023
“And you don’t have to take my word for it. According to DHS, Madam President, the greatest domestic threat facing the United States comes from ‘racially – or ethnically-motivated violent extremists, specifically those who advocate for the superiority of the white race,’” he continued.
Fateh’s comments caught the attention of Sen. Nathan Wesenberg, R-Little Falls, who said he felt like he “was just called a racist white man.”
“That’s not appropriate. We should be getting along with each other. I was raised to treat people equally and to treat people with respect,” Wesenberg said. “And I don’t think we should be saying those things on the Senate chamber floor. I find that very disrespectful.”
Howe is asking the Senate’s ethics committee, which consists of two Democrats and two Republicans, to take disciplinary action against Fateh.
About a month after Howe’s complaint was filed, Fateh lodged an ethics complaint of his own against Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson, R-East Grand Forks, for his use of the word “Polack.”
“Senator Johnson used a derogatory term for people of Polish descent on the Senate floor at the conclusion of the floor session,” Fateh said.
Fateh’s actions have been the subject of ethical concerns in the past. He was ordered to participate in campaign finance training last year after failing to disclose $1,000 in campaign payments to Somali TV Minnesota. He also received donations from several people charged in the Feeding Our Future scandal, along with other Democratic politicians.